Recently I’ve been taking two tanking specs to Ulduar – the good, ol’ Deep Wounds threat spec, and a new and shiny spec – Cooldown spec. When paired with the Glyph of Shield Wall and Glyph of Last Stand, it brings the cooldown of each of those two abilities to 2 minutes, each. I’ve also taken a few more talents to reduce my incoming damage rather than increase my outgoing threat.
When fighting the Keepers of Ulduar, how has that impacted on me? To be honest, most of the time, I don’t miss the extra threat, the main place it’s a problem being the Hodir encounter, when I’m not wearing conventional tanking gear anyway.
It’s saved me more than a few times in fights we’re just learning, where healers have a lot of other things to cope with, such as the Auriaya’s Feral Defender running amok in the raid, or people being just that little bit too slow to avoid getting frozen on Hodir (Happily, this doesn’t happen very much any more).
So, in answer to Spink’s question, When to use Shield Wall? My answer is “All the freakin’ time”. These days my old threat-oriented spec only gets aired when I’m soloing or outgearing content. The rest of the time, knowing that my cooldowns will still be available later on is a fantastic motivator for me to use them now, too.
It’s not quite a case of “If it’s off cooldown, you’re doing something wrong”, but it’s a nice middle ground between that and saving it in vain for a more perilous situation than I’m currently in.